Regional FlagBlizzard, are you seeing the trend?Source
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Bandito
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#1 - 2011/05/06 06:50:00 AM
I browsed the forums today and found many, many posts telling people to watch videos to learn boss strategies, to study online to be able to defeat certain encounters, etc. Do you think it is a good idea to complicate the GAME to the point where it requires studying to be able to play it? By doing so you have created 2 groups of players who are at odds with each other... elitists and bads (forum terms, not mine).

Many encounters use the following rules: Stand here, don't stand here, jump up, cluster here, walk in a circle, pick this up, move away, move back... it all seems rather silly and pointless when you look at it.

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Community Manager
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#75 - 2011/05/06 01:20:00 PM
05/06/2011 06:50 AMPosted by Bandito
Do you think it is a good idea to complicate the GAME to the point where it requires studying to be able to play it?


When you use the word "study" here, are you referring to a normal learning curve (which is standard for most games, even simple ones like checkers and hopscotch)? Or are you being more specific, suggesting that even if someone learns how to play World of Warcraft, the only way he or she can progress through any kind of end-level or dungeon content is by spending countless hours pouring over manuscripts of boss encounters, class specializations, and item spreadsheets?

Standard learning curves aside, I'd argue that most players are capable of tackling dungeon content reasonably well (albeit not necessarily willing to, and that's fine) without referring to outside resources . Do those resources help? Definitely. For a lot of people, they do a great job at breaking important information into palatable, easy-to-digest pieces. And, of course, the more you know about a certain subject, the easier it is to approach. The same applies for most things in life: riding a bike, driving a car -- even playing other popular video games like Portal, Smash Bros, and League of Legends.

Now, could we make it easier for players who want to become more proficient to get their hands on helpful information? Absolutely. To touch upon your concerns specifically, we think the upcoming Dungeon Journal in 4.2 will be a huge boon to players when it comes to jumping into new encounters (http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2456449381). We also think that the game could do more to prepare players for those situations, in general -- in terms of actual gameplay -- and have a few ideas regarding how we might be able to accomplish that in the future.


05/06/2011 06:50 AMPosted by Bandito
Many encounters use the following rules: Stand here, don't stand here, jump up, cluster here, walk in a circle, pick this up, move away, move back... it all seems rather silly and pointless when you look at it.


Sure. You could also say that playing music is nothing more a series of "strum that, pluck here, and press this." Or that dancing is simply a matter of "standing here, moving there, and waving arms in a circle." Most activities could be broken down this way, and it does little to represent why they're enjoyable.

So, let's flip this discussion on its head. What encounter "rules" would you consider to be sincere and meaningful (as opposed to "silly" and "pointless")? What types of mechanics or scenarios do you think would be fun? Could you provide some parameters that would be feasible within World of Warcraft?

Actually, anyone can feel free to hop in on those last questions. :)

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Community Manager
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#463 - 2011/05/10 05:24:00 PM
Or are you being more specific, suggesting that even if someone learns how to play World of Warcraft, the only way he or she can progress through any kind of end-level or dungeon content is by spending countless hours pouring over manuscripts of boss encounters, class specializations, and item spreadsheets?


please PLEASE tell me this is a joke


Uhh, no? Maybe? Yes? Bueller? I was just making sure that I understood Bandito's concern regarding the complexity of certain dungeon encounters, not explicitly expressing an opinion of my own. :)

Even so, it's not unreasonable for a player to feel that some of the game mechanics in World of Warcraft could be made more transparent, be that through additional interface options, better encounter alerts, or a type of in-game guide. That may not be the exact complaint here, but it's still valid and worthy of consideration.

In fact, we agree that there's room for improvement. As already mentioned, we're introducing the Dungeon Journal in patch 4.2. While this new feature won’t completely eliminate the need for one to "study" certain encounters, it should make it easier for players to pick up new fights, and hopefully a lot more fun (the journal looks pretty darn sweet, if you ask me, and even includes a little lore, too).

Speaking to the future, we're also looking into ways that we can incorporate some "raid/dungeon"-style gameplay into solo environments. To a small degree, there's a bit of this in the new daily quest hubs coming up in in 4.2. While the goal isn't specifically to prepare players for dungeons and raids -- rather, just to make content that's fun and cool -- the quests themselves and some their related achievements encourage the use of tactics that you'd might see in dungeon and raid encounters.

For example:

  • "Burn Victims" is a "heal the wounded NPCs in the field" type of quest, which will give players a salve to use on burn victims in the Molten Front. Healers will be able to use their healing spells, however, and complete the quest much more easily (since most heals are ranged).


  • "Strike at the Heart" is a quest with randomized bosses, all of which have raid-style environmental damage. There's even an achievement (currently named "Ready for Raiding II") for killing all five of those random bosses without taking damage from their avoidable environmental effects.


  • Some other achievements in the areas promote more skilled, "raid-style" play, too. "Flawless Victory," for example, asks players to solo kill a Molten Behemoth (found in the Molten Front) without taking any damage from two its abilities: Molten Stop and Fiery Boulder. And "Master of the Molten Front" requires players to kill a variety of flamewakers in arguably non-standard ways (e.g. pwning a Flamewaker Shaman with his own Flamewave).


Although these quests won't magically turn an inexperienced raider into an experienced one, we think they have the chance to make the daily content more interesting, as well as provide more opportunities for players to familiarize themselves with the style of gameplay one can expect within a dungeon or raid.